Portugal is quite a trendy destination right now. I can’t remember how many pictures and check-ins I’ve seen from friends over the last few years. Looks like my family is trendy too, without even trying, as they moved to this beautiful country when I moved to Australia almost three years ago - how convenient!

This gave me the opportunity to discover their brand new region twice (before moving to Sydney and most recently in June): Algarve, a stunning part of Portugal, located in the South.

I have yet to discover so much more but the very few things I’ve seen, I loved them. And now that I’m back from Portugal, I just can’t wait to go again.

Here are a few things that made me fall in love with the Algarve region and Portugal:

Quinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard.

Quinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard.

The Portuguese landscapes

South of Portugal has very different landscapes from other places, it can be lush green, extra dry or endless ocean and beaches. You also have spectacular cliffs and coastlines from Sagres to Faro. Perfect for photography and droning! It also reminds me of Australia from time to time.

A beautiful beach in Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard

A beautiful beach in Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard

The Portuguese beaches

Portuguese beaches are simply awesome: they are free, they are clean, they are set in wild scenery and the water is delicious. It can get a little cold sometimes but really not that bad. Oh so perfect for a swim or a relaxing time.

Even better, you can go surfing on the Atlantic side coast near Sagres in Algarve. I did it only once but I loved it! I really want to surf more on the Portuguese coast. Maybe not in the north though, like Nazare, where you have some of the biggest waves in the world - see for yourself here!

A typical balcony in Loule, Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard

A typical balcony in Loule, Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard

The cheap cost of living

Let’s be honest… Portugal is quite cheap. Beers are 1.5 euros and you have a nice dinner for 10 euros. Petrol, tolls and hotels can be a little more expensive but still very accessible when you come from France or Australia. Of course, the cost of life is cheaper and makes sense when the minimum wage in Portugal is only 600 euros a month. But it’s quite convenient when travelling!

Tourists and Portuguese enjoying the summer holidays in Algarve. Photo: Marine Raynard

Tourists and Portuguese enjoying the summer holidays in Algarve. Photo: Marine Raynard

The kindness of Portuguese people

I didn’t know many Portuguese people until my parents moved there and up to now I’ve met so many kind locals willing to help, always with a smile on their face and living through optimism. There’s nothing better when travelling in Portugal than getting to know the locals and understand they’re the heart of the country!

Myself exploring the streets of Loule in Portugal. 

Myself exploring the streets of Loule in Portugal. 

The never-ending things to do and places to discover

For a small country with only 11 millions of Portuguese, there are so many things to do and see in Portugal and especially Algarve!

There’s an activity for every taste: golf, surf, sightseeing, beach life, boat life, shopping, party, try new food, relax… It’s great for families, couples, friends… All styles of holidays and endless discoveries, really.

A vintage Schewppes ad in Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard

A vintage Schewppes ad in Algarve, Portugal. Photo: Marine Raynard

The sweet climate

I think the climate is comparable to Australia with hot summers and mild winters. The weather is generally good although you can get some rainy weeks (highly needed before the dry summer). I love the warmth and blue sky so it definitely makes a difference if you want a sunny holiday!

Traditional Portuguese tea towel. Photo: Marine Raynard

Traditional Portuguese tea towel. Photo: Marine Raynard

The delicious food & lively culture

Fishes, meats, cakes… there are many Portuguese specialities to try which will leave you longing for more! I love the cod fish and other specialty fishes - see here 10 of the top Portuguese dishes and tell if that doesn’t make you hungry!

As for the culture, Portugal is very rich in history, art, architecture and the language of course! In Algarve, you’ll find plenty of museums, castles like the Loule one, and other things to admire like colourful ceramics.

Lisbon streets before the placa de comercao. Photo: Marine Raynard

Lisbon streets before the placa de comercao. Photo: Marine Raynard

And you always want to see more…

It’s a bittersweet feeling every time I have to leave Portugal as I know my parents live there and I wish I could visit more often. But unfortunately, it’s not so close from Australia!

On my list for next time is to visit more of the North with Lisbon, Porto and Sintra as well as surfing the coast!.

And my ultimate wish would also be to visit the Azores, a set of island 2 hours of flights from Lisbon, in the Atlantic Ocean. Just google the images of the island and you’ll understand why!

Have you been to Algarve in Portugal? If yes, let me know where!

Myself admiring the beautiful beaches of Algarve, Portugal. 

Myself admiring the beautiful beaches of Algarve, Portugal. 

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